Nugget of Knowledge: Coffee cake


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – Why do they call it a “coffee cake?” There’s no coffee in it, or is there?

A few early coffee cake recipes did call for coffee as an ingredient, but “coffee cake” is a simple, unfrosted cake that goes with your morning coffee.

It’s not a fancy, formal dessert.

By the time coffee came to Europe in the 1600s, the Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians were already baking sweetbreads — the first coffee cakes — and then immigrants brought these bread cakes to America.

German women brought us the idea of the kaffeeklatsch, a break in the day to meet for coffee, a sweet and gossip.

Streusel, by the way, is German for “sprinkle” and it refers to the crumbly topping sprinkled over coffee cake batter before it is baked.

But the Scandinavians were probably the most responsible for the idea of the American coffee break that featured sweets. The Scandinavians had so many simple pastries called coffee breads, coffee cakes, coffee rings, you name it.

What is the best way to store coffee?

Coffee experts seem to agree on one thing: to get the very best flavor from coffee, you should buy ground coffee and coffee beans in small amounts, keep them stored tightly at or cooler than room temperature, and use them quickly.

Most say don’t put your coffee in the refrigerator or the freezer because it can take on odors from other foods, affecting the taste.

Only freeze coffee if you but it in bulk and want to store it. Take just as much as you need, don’t let it thaw and refreeze. That will weaken it.

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